Trumps of Flanders Cleantech Sector
Flanders, the heart of Europe and part of the second largest chemical cluster in the world, is home to some powerful Cleantech companies offering game-changing technologies that governments and organisations can use to help accelerate the transition to a sustainable industry and society, yielding ecologic and economic benefits.
The Flemish Cleantech industry is represented by Flanders Cleantech Association (FCA). Topics covered are (1) sustainable energy, (2) sustainable chemicals, processes and materials, (3) transport and mobility, (4) urban development and sustainable construction (5) rural development such as sustainable agriculture, and (6) air/water/waste/soil remediation.
FCA’s companies are constantly looking for industrial and commercial partnerships to build win-win solutions for governments, organisations, … that want to accelerate the transition to a sustainable industry and society, yielding ecologic and economic benefits.
FCA-companies can be grouped in 6 Cleantech Sub-clusters:
1) W³ – wind – water – wave, anchored in the western part of the region, close to the Port of Ostend
2) Ghent Bio Energy Valley, around the Port of Ghent
3) Sustainable Chemistry cluster, EU’s largest and world’s second largest chemical cluster situated around the Port of Antwerp
4) Smart Landfill Mining, Urban Mining, Resource Efficiency concepts with Additive Manufacturing and Waste-to-Energy and Waste-to-Materials concepts
5) EnergyVille, one of the 6 co-locations of the European Knowledge and Innovation Community “InnoEnergy” focussing on energy efficiency for Smart cities and buildings.
6) Living Lab on Electric Vehicles
FCA was founded in 2010 by VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research. VITO focusses its research on cleantech and the transition to a sustainable society. As such its main research topics lies in sustainable chemistry, sustainable energy, sustainable land use, sustainable materials management and health VITO was created in 1991 and has in 2014 more than 750 collaborators and a researchbudget of over 140 Meuro. Its involvement in China dates back more than 15 years and VITO has created a 100 % daughter company in Hong Kong VITO Asia in 2009 with a first successful joint venture, LiboVITO, in Beijing, working on air quality management models.
Thanks to VITO’s interaction with China, FCA was able to start a collaboration with the Chinese Association of Environmental Protection Industry (CAEPI) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September of 2013, a ceremony which was witnessed by Minister President Kris Peeters and Minister Zhou, the Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection (MEP). They established a cluster-to-cluster gateway for Flemish and Chinese cleantech companies that want to work together on environmental projects. The vision is to jointly work out comprehensive technology gap analyses on particular environmental cases to identify opportunities for Flemish and Chinese expertise to jointly work together on environmental cases. CAEPI was established in 1984 and affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. CAEPI is based in Beijing and reaches out to all provinces in the China through its extensive representation network Guiding for its actions comes from the Five Year Plans, which include targets and visions on China’s environmental development.
China is home to more than 30.000 environmental technology companies, about 50 of which are listed companies. Some of them are very interested in cooperating with Flemish companies, as is proven by the fact that two of them were present in Beijing to meet FCA.
CAEPI is the organiser of the biennially CIEPEC exhibition (www.chinaenvironment.org), the most important event for environmental technology in China.